What should one do to increase love and trust in Sadguru’s lotus feet? How does one attain satsang and association of saints? After attaining, how can this be increased? What should we do to attain it regularly and increasingly?
Choosing a guru should not be seen as a ritual. When you are extremely eager to walk on the path of spirituality and you realize the need for the guru after that you should go ahead and take refuge in a Sadguru. That is the right way. Making a guru out of contention is like having a meal without being hungry. Eating without being hungry may not nourish you, but may become the cause of illness. Therefore, to be healthy, eat only when you are very hungry, eat only as much as you are hungry; in fact, eat a little less than that as guided to remain healthier.
The scenario these days is, everybody says without a guru you cannot obtain knowledge. It is said in Ram Charit Manas as well:
Guru binu bhava nidhi tarai na koī, jo biranci Śankar sam hoī. (SRCM 7.92.3)
We must have a guru. So, we choose a guru out of contention, that should not be the case. Only when we are spiritually hungry, then to obtain spiritual guidance, we need a Sadguru. Then, our mind automatically develops faith towards the Sadguru. A person who is lost in a desert understands the importance of one to one and a half litres of water and preserves it carefully. The person understands the value of the water at this time. So, when a person is hungry for spiritual knowledge, one understands the importance of a Guru. Then one is filled with dedication to the Sadguru. To develop spiritual hunger, satsang is needed. Therefore,
“Pratham bhagati santan kar sangā dūsari rati mama kathā prasangā” (SRCM 3.34.3)
You gain satsang as a result of the fruition of your good deeds. You either attend satsang by your wish or it might just happen to you accidentally, both are possible. Either a saint comes to you and does satsang or you may meet a saint and do satsang or both of you meet somewhere in between and satsang takes place.
Devarshi Narad came to Dwarka to Vasudev and did satsang, this katha is in the eleventh canto of Bhāgavat. In the third canto, there is a story about Vidurji who went to Maitrayi Rishi’s hermitage at the banks of Ganga and did satsang. There is a story that king Yadu found a hermit sleeping at the bank of Kaveri and did satsang. At the time of Yagya at King Nimi’s place, Nav Yogeshvar came there and did Satsang. Satsang is a part of a Yagya here. Just like the satsang happening between Shri Sutaji and Shaunakadi Rishis at Naimisharanya, which is also part of a Yagya. Shaunakadi rishis are doing a Yagya for a thousand years. The Yagya goes on till noon and after a break, in the remaining time, satsang continues as a part of the Yagya. This means whatever virtuous action you perform, always include satsang as part of it. Vidurji went for a pilgrim and did satsang there. When you carry out Satyanarayan pūja, so after doing the pūja you listen to the Katha for five hours, so that too is satsang but as a part of a fast.
Thus, satsang is very important. The continuity of satsang. Hence, karahi sadā satsang. Spiritual hunger rises from continuous and regular satsang only. Satsang works as an appetizer. That is how the hunger for spiritual knowledge develops. When that hunger is at its peak, then you go to seek the shelter of Sadguru. After that, like I said, just like a person lost in the desert understands the value of water, similarly, a spiritual aspirant understands the value of Sadguru. One develops faith and dedication in Sadguru, takes each word or teachings of Sadguru seriously and solemnly and walks on the path showed by Sadguru.